Unic Press UK: The Nigerian electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has reaffirmed its earlier decision that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would not be allowed to field candidates for the 2019 General Election in Zamfara State.
The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who spoke Monday in Abuja on the fringes of a two-day validation workshop on the study of the cost of election in the ECOWAS region, said: “We have issued a statement on Zamfara and nothing has changed. We stand by the statement that we issued,” the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Yakubu statement has therefore effectively foreclosed any possibility of the party fielding candidates for the 2019 election in Zamfara States, despite the APC Chairman Adams Oshiomhole contention that the party had met the requirements to field candidates for the election.
Reacting to the development, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, vehemently rejected the decision of INEC, saying: “INEC cannot say that we don’t have candidates for election until the deadline has expired. We have options of consensus, direct and indirect primaries and we are going to apply, like we have done in other states, our energies, time and concerns to pick our candidates. I can assure you that before the Oct. 18 deadline, we are going to meet all INEC requirements and we are going to submit names of all the candidates for not only Zamfara but the 36 states and the FCT.”
It was on October 9, 2018 that INEC via a letter signed by the Commission’s acting Secretary, Okechukwe Ndeche, said that the APC had failed to conduct Zamfara primaries between August 18 and October 7, thereby contravening the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 General Election, and violating Section 87 and 31 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).